Eskimos benefiting from Kevin Glenns experience … Mosaic always an experience … Special-teams a team effort

Eskimos benefiting from Kevin Glenn\s experience ... Mosaic always an experience ... Special-teams a team effort
Edmonton Eskimos lose Thanksgiving Day showdown against Roughriders
The Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end soaked up spotlight as only he could in his teams thrilling 19-12 victory on Monday over the Edmonton Eskimos after snagging a Mike Reilly pass attempt and returning it 49 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Jeffersons final two yards on route to the end zone werent without flair as he took his time crossing the goal line.

Most of the time when I catch interceptions its mostly just lineman and quarterbacks chasing me,” Jefferson said. “I already have my momentum going down the field, so I dont really think any of them were going to catch me. It was just cross the field, take a little time off the clock and then at the end of the day get in the end zone.

“Willie is the type of guy who is going to get pressure on the quarterback and if not, hes going to drop back and try to get his hands on the football. Its not the first time he has done that. Credit to Willie for stepping up in a big-time moment and making that play.”

The Saskatchewan Roughriders came through with another key victory in Week 17, edging the Edmonton Eskimos in a 19-12 game that could only be described as an all-out defensive battle. Sitting in second place in the West Division with a 10-5 record and three regular season games remaining, the Riders are finding ways to win at exactly the right time.

Were going to fight to the end: Riders continue to build momentum

The play wasnt without controversy, however. Reilly was driven to the turf hard by Saskatchewans Zack Evans and Edmonton head coach Jason Maas challenged the play. He felt Evans should have been flagged for roughing the passer. Much to his frustration, the play stood.

“It sure looked like (Reillys) head snapped back. (The officials) took an awful long time to look at it… and, in their opinion, it wasnt (a penalty),” said Maas.

Every game right now is important coming down the end, Jefferson said. This West side of the league is real tough. Like they say every year, its hard to come out of the West. Hopefully we can keep winning the rest of these games and give Calgary a run for their money.

“I know Mike feels like his chin was hit. So, if your chin is getting hit, that means a helmet is hitting it. If it slid up from the chest, I dont know. Apparently that must have been the call.”

A frustrated Reilly said after the game it wasnt up to him to decide. Reilly completed 13-of-27 pass attempts for 222 yards. He was intercepted three times, including twice inside Saskatchewans 20-yard line.

The Riders are stringing together wins and building momentum down the stretch when it counts the most, and the entire team knows these final few weeks of the season will be crucial as they chase the division-leading Calgary Stampeders.

The win improved the Riders record to 10-5 and pushed the team closer to a home playoff game. Saskatchewan sits alone in second place in the CFLs West Division, four points ahead of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who they will face on Saturday in a key divisional matchup. The Riders have won seven of their past eight games.

This was the second time this season that Jefferson has taken an interception back for six points, as he previously returned an interception for a 97-yard touchdown against Matt Nichols and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers back in Week 13.

Edmonton (7-8) lost its fifth consecutive road game and dropped into fifth place in the West. The B.C. Lions are 7-7.

Heck yeah I like that touchdown, Hughes said. Any time you get a chance to score a touchdown as a defensive end, you gotta really cherish those moments because they dont come around too often.

“We had a 12-9 lead with two minutes to go and give up a pick-six to get beat. If thats not frustrating, I dont know what else is,” Maas said. “When you have momentum and when you have a lead for most of the game and it comes down to the last minute and 50 seconds and you lose the game because of it, that sucks. Its hard to deal with.”

“We cant dwell on this loss,” Maas said. “It hurts. It sucks. We have to keep fighting. We have three games left and theyre all important now.”

Our mindset as a defence is takeovers, Jefferson said. We know we have one of the most athletic defences in the league, and when we get our hands on the ball we want to finish the plays.

Brett Lauther kicked four field goals for Saskatchewan. Sean Whyte kicked four field goals for the Eskimos.

The Riders offence had scored at least 30 points in each of the past two games in wins over Toronto and Montreal. Their production dried up on Monday, however, with just 281 yards net offence. Quarterback Zach Collaros, despite completing 25-of-38 attempts for 259 yards, did not reach the end zone. He was intercepted once.

The team now has three straight victories, and their Thanksgiving win was the result of a 49-yard pick-six from Willie Jefferson and a defensive unit that refused to quit for four quarters.

Reilly had his favourite target, Duke Williams, back in the lineup on Monday. The CFLs leading receiver left last weeks game with a shoulder injury and it was anticipated he would miss significant time.

Were a bend but dont break defence,” Jefferson said after the win. “Were going to fight to the end, and were going to give it everything we got.”

The Saskatchewan Roughriders' defensive end soaked up spotlight as only he could in his team's thrilling 19-12 victory on Monday over the Edmonton Eskimos after snagging a Mike Reilly pass attempt and returning it 49 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

The Riders will look to make it four in a row when they travel to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers next Saturday in Week 18 action.

Jefferson's final two yards on route to the end zone weren't without flair as he took his time crossing the goal line.

"Willie is the type of guy who is going to get pressure on the quarterback and if not, he's going to drop back and try to get his hands on the football. It's not the first time he has done that. Credit to Willie for stepping up in a big-time moment and making that play."

The play wasn't without controversy, however. Reilly was driven to the turf hard by Saskatchewan's Zack Evans and Edmonton head coach Jason Maas challenged the play. He felt Evans should have been flagged for roughing the passer. Much to his frustration, the play stood.

"It sure looked like [Reilly's] head snapped back. [The officials] took an awful long time to look at it … and, in their opinion, it wasn't [a penalty]," said Maas.

"I know Mike feels like his chin was hit. So, if your chin is getting hit, that means a helmet is hitting it. If it slid up from the chest, I don't know. Apparently that must have been the call."

A frustrated Reilly said after the game it wasn't up to him to decide. Reilly completed 13-of-27 pass attempts for 222 yards. He was intercepted three times, including twice inside Saskatchewan's 20-yard line.

The win improved the Riders' record to 10-5 and pushed the team closer to a home playoff game. Saskatchewan sits alone in second place in the CFL's West Division, four points ahead of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who they will face on Saturday in a key divisional matchup. The Riders have won seven of their past eight games.

Edmonton (7-8) lost its fifth consecutive road game and dropped into fifth place in the West. The B.C. Lions are 7-7.

"We had a 12-9 lead with two minutes to go and give up a pick-six to get beat. If that's not frustrating, I don't know what else is," Maas said. "When you have momentum and when you have a lead for most of the game and it comes down to the last minute and 50 seconds and you lose the game because of it, that sucks. It's hard to deal with."

"We can't dwell on this loss," Maas said. "It hurts. It sucks. We have to keep fighting. We have three games left and they're all important now."

Brett Lauther kicked four field goals for Saskatchewan. Sean Whyte kicked four field goals for the Eskimos.

The Riders' offence had scored at least 30 points in each of the past two games in wins over Toronto and Montreal. Their production dried up on Monday, however, with just 281 yards net offence. Quarterback Zach Collaros, despite completing 25-of-38 attempts for 259 yards, did not reach the end zone. He was intercepted once.

Reilly had his favourite target, Duke Williams, back in the lineup on Monday. The CFL's leading receiver left last week's game with a shoulder injury and it was anticipated he would miss significant time.

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